The Stages Part 2: Valdisotto
For the second part of the Giro d’Italia 2015, we’ve booked an apartment in Valdisotto.
Valdisotto is located just south of Bormio, on the road to Grosio and Mazzo di Valtellina, two starting points for the climb up the Mortirolo.
Other than the Mortirolo from Mazzo, I already cycled a couple of other passes in the area four years ago. Most notably the Gavia (both ends), the Foscagno, the Umbrail and of course the Stelvio.
The latter I cycled up twice, but I’m pretty sure that one of the stages will include it again this year, for instance if/when I decide to ride my own version of the Dreiländergiro*.
The official day for that is June 28 and we will already be heading home by that time. I’m hoping to get a pass or two in Switzerland into a stage on Saturday – after all, I will be cycling in the right direction if I do, right?
Anyway, it’s time to reveal the (preliminary) road book with part 2 of my Giro d’Italia 2015 stages, but first back to stage 6…
This stage is covering part of the transfer from Corvara to Bormio. In my previous post, I included the Cinque Croci – it will require a transfer of about an hour to get to Piè Falcade and a three hour drive after completing that climb.
However, the shortest / fastest route to Bormio, would take us past Bolzano and over the Stelvio and that doesn’t make sense.
So, I’m now thinking to drive to Bolzano get on zee baik and cycle up Mendola, Palade and maybe Val Martello, with a 40 kilometer car transfer between the summit of Palade (Caprile) and the base of Val Martello in Coldrana.
According to Strava, without a car transfer this would be a 120 kilometer ride, with some 4,300 altimeters. But that seems like too high an estimate, as the “official” climbs count for around 2,500…
Considering the coming stages, I may (have to) go easy on myself today, so I think I’ll stick to “just” cycling up to Bormio 2000, with a loop over Le Motte as a warming up.
This is only a “ITT length stage” with 35 km and 1,200 meters of elevation – If I feel really good, I may revisit Torri di Fraele, in which case it will be 53 km / 2,100 m.
How badly do I want to get the Resia pass and the (complete) Ofen pass on the “Col Collector’s List”? Both are part of the Dreiländergiro, which is really all about the Stelvio from Prato.
I climbed the Ofen pass from La Drossa in 2011, but in the DLG it’s tackled from Santa Maria at the foot of the Umbrail, which is a descent in that course.
The Resia pass is, like the Ofen pass – even with the connecting “Ova Spin” – not much of a challenge. It’s a little more interesting from the Italian end (Glorenza), but that’s not easy to include in any stage.
So, I think I’ll settle for a “Stelvio round trip” – up the Stelvio from Bormio, down the Umbrail and up the Stelvio from Prato again. Some 115 kilometers and 4,000+ meters of elevation gain…
It looks like today the Mortirolo will be on the menu for the first time. That may prove to be a bad idea after yesterday’s stage, but stupid is as stupid does and I wish to extend my winning streak…
As I have not yet climbed passo Aprica yet, I’ll probably transfer to Tirano by car, to have a 10 km warming up to the start in Tresenda.
After reaching Aprica, it’s mainly downhill towards Edolo, where climbing will start again up to Monno, the official start of the Mortirolo from this end.
Including the descent and the trip back to Valdisotto – which I may well skip – this stage will be just over 85 kilometers, with some 2,800 meters of elevation.
More Mortirolo today, climbing up the Mazzo side – a revisit of the climb I did in 2011, when I couldn’t connect the dots to the Gavia. I have succeeded in doing so this time, so after the descent to Monno, I will turn to Ponte di Legno and climb the Gavia from its hardest side.
I may need a rest day after this…
This stage will be “Swiss” – I cycled up the final couple of kilometers of the Bernina pass in 2011 – coming from Livigno – and I would like to see all of it.
I’ll get to Tirano by car again, the official start of the Bernina – the length of this climb is close to 35 kilometers, but there’s a “flat stretch” between 10 and 20 kilometers.
I will descend towards Samedan to climb the Albula pass – it’s less then 10 kilometers from La Punt, but it has over 600 meters of elevation from this end.
From the other end (Bergün) it’s some 5 kilometers / 950 altimeters, but I don’t think I’ll have the time to include that.
However, I will get back up the Bernina from Samedan, some 20 kilometers with just 600 meters of elevation – that’s almost a recovery 🙂
Total for this stage: close to 110 kilometers, with over 3,500 meters of elevation.
Taking into consideration that I have taken a rest day, this would then be the final stage.
As I wanted to head in the – generally speaking – direction of home, it will be more “Tour de Suisse”, as we will transfer to Airolo first.
There I will get on the bike and climb the Gotthard pass, with the famous “Via Tremola”, the cobblestoned section of hairpins.
Depending on the time I have left, I will (at least) include the Furka and Grimsel pass.
Should I feel the urge to climb the latter in total, that would require me to go down to Oberwald first – otherwise it will be a short stretch from Gletsch, after descending some 10 kilometers from the top of the Furka.
And that will be the end of it.
Provided Paula heals well (as expected), I think this will be the most likely scenario. However, as experience should have taught me, there will probably be some alterations to the plan…
Stay tuned – it’s only two weeks from now that this awesome journey will start!
(And how did it all work out? Read it here.)
General info on my ‘Giro d’Italia’ expeditions here.
* Link to the German pages, as the English pages on the site of the Dreiländergiro are often unavailable or outdated…